The secret of the Rufous Treepie

As I sat on the sprawling green lawns of the Ramghar Lodge, lost in my thoughts, the call of two beautiful birds brought me back to the present. It was like a comfortable couple having a squabble. There was lots of heated discussion and a healthy exchange of views but the two birds stayed close to each other. Sitting close to each other, on the same branch, going on and on at each other as if they were brought closer by the bickering. A third, who to me appeared to be their child sat on another branch patiently listening to them. And then all of a sudden, a door on the top floor of the lodge banged shut. The lawn fell silent and the sky claimed my three new friends who flew off in fright. The loud noise interrupted their evening banter and sent them in search of a safer spot. Before they left, I got a picture of them. A family of three enjoying some time together.

Who was this feathered family? Courtesy of the hunting lodge’s WiFi, I was able to go in hunt of an answer. While I went about googling I also sent a video of them to my Dad. Within minutes he had sent me a photograph of the bird from his book on birds, with my mom’s handwriting sharing a notation in the margin where she had listed a sighting of the Rufous Treepie in Jaipur years ago when we had done a family holiday at the beautiful Samode Bagh. This beautiful bird and its loud conversation that I had been eavesdropping on sent me down a memory lane. A lovely trip with my parents and grandmother brought back into my consciousness courtesy of the ruckus the rufous was causing.

The next morning as I was having breakfast another visitor appeared. This one was silent and did a hop skip and a sideways skitter as it glided across the lawn. I later identified this new friend as the white-browed wagtail. A week after my trip, as I look back on it I realise there was so much more to discover. Back in the concrete jungle, reminiscing about the two lovely days in nature, I realised that I was blind to the world of birds. Earlier in the as part of the “bridge programme” an initiative of the millennium board at Adfactors PR that was helping bridge the generation gap between millennials and my generation, I got to know about the African Grey Parrot. A pair of which my colleague who I was bridging with, had as pets. I learnt that they live up to about 60 years of age and hail from the Congo in Africa. Their striking red tail and parrot-like look make them easy to identify.

We see the world not as it is, but through the instruments at our disposal. When it comes to birds I have a pretty rudimentary set of instruments so there is a whole lot that I don’t see. I know little or nothing about birds. A whole world waiting to be discovered. Imagine a birder visiting Ramghar lodge. The world they see would have been so different from mine. An uneducated and untuned eye and ear to the world of birds allowed me to just about skim the surface. There is so much the world has to offer if we choose to make the effort to see what is there in plain sight.

To learn is to grow. Here is me reminding myself to keep an open mind and keep learning. Everyday. This is the secret to growth. A little birdie told me it’s important. 

On the lawns of Ramghar lodge, another wonderful discovery was made.  I found Pixie. Who turned out to be a mix between a jack Russel terrier and a chiwawa. Pixie’s daddy turned out to be the general manager of the property who I would possibly not have met if it were not for my efforts to find out more about pixie. And that is the moral of this story. Be curious. Ask questions. You will be amazed at the answers you find. 

While talking to my dad as I wandered on those wonderful lawns he said “hey that’s a partridge calling”. He was miles away with only his ears to guide him. I with all my sense about me could not pick out the partridge call. Our journey in this world is one of sense making. Stories are a tool to help make sense of the world. So as a storyteller the more I can open up my senses, the better sense I will make. Sensible advice to myself, methinks. Thank you Rufous, wagtail, grey parrot, and Pixie for this wonderful reminder of the virtues of curiosity.

Who is the primary target audience? Who is the biggest competitor? What is keeping the CEO awake at night? What makes this company interesting to the media? Why is this topic trending? So many things that are staring us in the face asking for a curious soul to explore them. The way to enjoy the wonderful world of public relations is to try and connect the dots. To connect with people in meaningful ways and solve their problems using this powerful tool of storytelling and communication. Or to put it another way Sensemaking. Makes perfect sense to me.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey is Executive Director, Adfactors PR.

A trusted coaching and communications professional, Nikhil Dey is a certified life and leadership coach (International Coach Federation - ICF). Nurturing talent and helping clients achieve their goals is what makes him happy. He loves learning from students of communication, teaching courses and guest lecturing at various educational institutions. When he is not working you will find him on the tennis court or out for long walks with his family and four legged friends.

Previously he has held senior leadership positions at Weber Shandwick and Genesis BCW.

He can be reached on twitter @deydreaming

Be the first to comment on "The secret of the Rufous Treepie"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.